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Too many brain surgeons, not enough machinists?

The realities of a world economy aren't just being felt at big companies like General Motors or Ford. Small businesses are feeling the strain of foreign competition.
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Author Joel Kotkin says Michigan needs more mid-level workers, like welders, plumbers, machinists and office workers.

An expert in economic trends says Michigan needs more people with mid-level skills, not advanced degrees. 

Author Joel Kotkin says too many people in Michigan go to four-year colleges and come out with a lot of debt and no marketable skills.

He says that’s created another problem:

"Even in Michigan, with all the unemployment that you’ve had, skilled workers are in short supply, in manufacturing, in medicine, these sort of what we might call middle-skilled jobs, jobs that might take a certificate, maybe a couple years in community college,” Kotkin says.

Kotkin says Michigan needs more machinists, welders and plumbers -- and  he says businesspeople tell him they need good office help who show up every day and are ready to learn.

Kotkin spoke at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s annual Future Forum this week.